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Health And Health Care Studies In Australia
1. What are the characteristics of the individuals in this case study ?
The individuals in this case study are basically Carla and her family members which includes her two children, her husband and mention of her old aunt who raised her and her parents who died when she was quite little.
Carla, a 54 year old woman was born in a small coastal mining town where she got married at a very young age. After the birth of her second child, she got separated from her husband. Initially, her husband supported her financially but after an accident, he couldn't do so. So despite of being divorced, she had to help him out. Thus, she worked in grocery, retail positions and shared childcare duties with her neighbour in opposite shifts. Gradually, earning money became more and more difficult for her as without the mine, there was no business. Finally she volunteered at the RPSCA where she earns few bucks for cleaning the post office and town hall. Since her children moved to the city, she is worried as her daughter is pregnant and ill too. She wants to be with her daughter but is unable to afford the public transport costs. So she is saving by eating only toasts for evening which could only provide him monthly visits.
Carla's husband supported her financially until the mine in which he worked, closed down. After that he couldn't find consistency in employment. While working, he developed a head injury which grew with time leading to depression. In this time of need, his divorced wife Carla supported her.
Carla's children grew up in that small coastal mining town. As they grew up, they moved to the city for employment. Her elder son finished Grade 12 and daughter lived with her boyfriend in a one room apartment. The daughter became pregnant but developed gestational diabetes because of which she always felt tired. She wants Carla to shift to the city. She is also worried about how they are going to raise their child with too much pressure of expenses.
2. What are the social determinants of health that are evident in the case study?
The social determinants of health can be referred to as the health conditions in which people grow, live, work, are born and age. In other words, social determinants of health are the factors responsible for affecting the people's health based on their lifestyle, the way they live, the ways and places where they work, the way they have grown up, their age related issues, etc. In relation to this case study, the social determinants of health include the following factors such as education, income status, physical environment and health services that affect the health conditions of each of the individuals involved in the case study (WHO, 2017).
These social determinants of health were impactful in the case study in the following ways:
1.Physical environment: This includes healthy working conditions, safe living and workplaces, better employment conditions, etc (Australian Govt., 2013). In the case study, Carla's husband used to work in mining workplaces which didn't provide safe working conditions at all. Her mother also used to do all the cleaning stuff in various places which affect adversely on the health conditions too.
2.Income status: The income status also marks the health status of individuals as in the given case study, Carla's husband avoided his head injury and didn't bother to take a treatment for it as he was frightened to lose the job which later on resulted into depression because of which he could no longer provide financial support to her ex - wife. Rather, she had to provide care and support to him to recover from his injuries.
3.Education: Lower education levels always result in more stressful conditions which ultimately deteriorates your health. In the case study, this evidence can be clearly shown through the health conditions of Carla's daughter who could lead a better and healthy life if was properly educated.
4.Health services: Provision of the access to the services that influence health also plays a great role in affecting the health conditions. In the case study, Carlo's husband did not have proper access to health services because of which his brain injury could not get cured. In the similar way, Carlo's daughter also had to experience similar health issues in her pregnancy too because of inadequate health services (WHO, 2017).
3. Select one of these social determinants and describe the best ways to address this issue in order to have an impact on the whole of population ?
For people to lead a healthy life, their issues related to these social determinants must be resolved. Out of all of these social determinants, although every single determinant is important in their own way, yet education has a great impact on the whole of population. Education is now the basic need for every individual in order to lead a physically and mentally healthy life. If people are more educated, they ultimately tend to be more aware and in complete understanding of the surroundings. They are more conscious towards their health and know proper ways of accessing health services. Thus, education serves as quite an impactful social determination for health (Heiman, 2015).
For addressing wider social determinants in the case study, some strategies can be adopted which are expressed as follows :
1.Provision of education services to all : Education brings in the people, the ability to make their own choices on the basis of their understanding. In the similar way, when it comes to health then education helps in providing the ability to make their own lifestyle choices for their own benefits in health. Providing education to all makes them independent, self - confident and knowledgeable person who can understand what is good for them and what is bad.
2.Keeping physical environment clean :A clean and healthy environment keeps the unhealthy conditions away from people. If people are more concerned about their working environment and workspace surroundings as to if they are clean and safe, then they may no longer experience unhealthy environment and conditions. Hence, environment must be kept clean and safe (Wilkinson, 2003).
4. What roles should health professionals play in addressing this issue ?
Health professionals basically provide care for patients. They provide them support, care and help in their times of need. Hence, in case of addressing the social determinants of health also, the health professionals play a great role. This kind of support can be provided in the following ways :
1.Increasing their learning : The health professionals must increase their knowledge level by increasing their awareness regarding the physical, cultural, social and environmental factors that affect health. This could help them in improving their clinical training skills and hence their efficiency in the treatment of various health conditions (Raphael, 2009).
2.Learning about the social history of patients : The health care professionals should ask appropriate questions about a patient's experience about their intake of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, heredity health problems and habits, etc. This helps them in making a mind map image of patients history which in turn helps them to identify their health problems and their cause.
3.Professional development: The health professionals must continue developing and researching in their own fields for more and more advanced learning that will help them in achieving a higher level in their professional career and advanced treatment to patients (TPCMD, 2016).
1.WHO (2017). "The social determinants of health" (online) available on http://www.who.int/social_determinants/sdh_definition/en/ last accessed on 18/03/2017.
2.WHO (2017). " The determinants of health" (online) available on http://www.who.int/hia/evidence/doh/en/ last accessed on 18/03/2017.
3.Wilkinson, R. G., & Marmot, M. (2003). Social determinants of health: the solid facts. World Health Organization.
4.TPCMD (2016). "Addressing the social determinants of health : The role of health professions education" (online) available on https://www.hrsa.gov/advisorycommittees/bhpradvisory/actpcmd/actpcmd_13th_report_sdh_final.pdf last accessed on 18/03/2017.
5.Australian Govt. (2013). "The social determinants of health" (online) available on http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/oatsih-healthplan-toc~determinants last accessed on 18/03/2017.
6.Heiman, HJ, Artiga, S. (2015). "The role of social determinants in promoting health and health equity" (online) available on http://kff.org/disparities-policy/issue-brief/beyond-health-care-the-role-of-social-determinants-in-promoting-health-and-health-equity/ last accessed on 18/03/2017.
7.Raphael, D. (2009). Social determinants of health. Canadian Perspectives, 2nd ed. Canadian Scholars.